Ara Corporate Services Director Darren Mitchell was at the prestigious event. His team worked with Jasmax, engineers Powell Fenwick, quantity surveyors AECOM, Hawkins construction and project managers Inovo to deliver a building that leads the way on multi-storey timber construction in Christchurch.
“These are significant acknowledgments at a national level,” Mitchell says. “We went the extra step to create a more sustainable facility that would perform well and inspire the engineering technicians and architectural designers of the future who are training there. We’re very pleased with Kahukura - it delivers flexible, interesting learning spaces that are similar to the studios and workshops students will find in the industry.”
The facility is also popular with Ara’s industry partners, Mitchell says. “We have hosted many exhibitions and industry events in Kahukura, not only for engineering and architectural studies, but across the board. There is an ICT exhibition, Emerge, on at the moment and the FORM fashion exhibition opening on 29 June. It is a lively, vibrant space.”
Along with locally produced engineered wood, Kahukura features solar panels, high insulation, targeted passive and active ventilation, low chemical content and rainwater harvesting, inspired by Living Building Challenge principles.
The $34m, 6500m building on Moorhouse Avenue is the jewel in the crown of a 10 year master plan of rebuilding and refurbishment across the institute’s five campuses. Kahukura was awarded a commendation at the recent Learning Environments Australasia's 11th Annual Awards for Excellent in Educational Facilities. It was the only building in New Zealand to be honoured at the awards.